This time of year is one of my favorite times to shop at Trader Joe's. They start selling apple and pumpkin versions of literally everything and my heart does a happy dance whenever I go grocery shopping. Mr. RC has decided it's best if I only shop with him during this season because I run around filling the cart with fall goodies (pumpkin chai, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin flavored cookie butter, pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds, say WHAAAT?!) while he's over in the corner like "We need milk and eggs!" (ummmmm who even needs those things this time of year?!). Needless to say, me shopping alone used to leave us in interesting predicaments come dinner time (Would you like some pumpkin butter with your apple butter and pumpkin cookie butter topped pumpkin bread pudding with a side of pumpkin caramels?). Of course, no matter how much I love some good ol' TJ's products, nothing beats homemade. So I bought goat cheese (yes, from Trader Joe's...I can't escape them), diced some apples, tossed them with some cinnamon (and a few other things) and easily recreated a fall favorite, the apple cinnamon goat cheese log. While this copycat recipe is just a tad messy to make, it'll make your tastebuds burst with fall happiness. Serve it as a snack, eat it as an appetizer, get adventurous and slather it on some pancakes, heck, just spoon it straight into your mouth. Basically, I don't care how you eat it, just eat it. I promise you won't regret it.
APPLE CINNAMON GOAT CHEESE
- 8 ounce goat cheese log (I used the honey flavored one from Trader Joe's)
- 1 large apple, cut into very small cubes
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons white or brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Crackers for serving (I used homemade rye toast rounds)
Remove the goat cheese from its packaging and allow to sit out at room temperature while you make the apple topping.
In a small bowl, mix together the apples, lemon juice, sugar and spices. Stir until everything is well combined and the apple cubes are all well coated with seasoning. Allow to rest for a few minutes (about 10 minutes) so that the juices can fully come together, then give it one last stir before assembling the goat cheese.
Before making the log, ensure that all jewelry is removed, sleeves rolled up and hands cleaned, as this step is a bit messy. Then, place the goat cheese on a large cutting board or plate, spoon on (or just dig in with your hands) a few apples and, using your hands, begin gently pressing them into the cheese. Continue on in this manner, pressing the apples all the way around the goat cheese log, until you've used up all of the fruit and the log is completely covered. Place on a plate and serve with crackers.
Leftovers can be covered with plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- For an additional crunch, try adding chopped nuts (about 2-4 tablespoons) to the apple mixture before pressing it into the goat cheese.
- For an "adults only" version, replace the lemon juice with about 2 teaspoons of brandy.